Celebrities discover the downside of Twitter

Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:48pm EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Is celebrities' obsession with Twitter starting to wane?

When singer John Mayer, one of Twitter's most high profile users with 3.7 million followers, shut his account on Monday, he was just the latest celebrity to quit the micro-blogging site.

Some stars are finding that Twitter may be great as a promotional tool or for reaching out to fans, but it also comes with a downside.

Teen singer Miley Cyrus deleted her account a year ago, persuaded into silence by her new boyfriend, Liam Hemsworth.

"Hairspray" star Amanda Bynes deleted her Twitter account last week without any notice to her fans. Earlier this month, Disney starlet Demi Lovato, 18, tweeted that she's saying "goodbye to twitter" because "the access that the other people have is uncomfortable to me."

"The blessing of tweeting for celebrities was this idea that you could bypass sending out a press release and go directly to those who are following you," said Robert Thompson, professor of Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University.

However, many celebrities have found that their tweets are being made fun of, or blow up in their faces.

Although Bynes, 24, offered no explanation for quitting Twitter, she seems to have had a volatile relationship with the so-called "Twitterverse." The actress got flack for announcing on Twitter that she was retiring from acting earlier this year, and then subsequently "un-retiring" a month later.   Continued...

<p>John Mayer accepts the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for his record Say at the 51st annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, February 8, 2009. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson</p>